The will of the late anti-apartheid leader was read on Monday and many observers have begun speculations why Nelson Mandela left his former wife, Winnie Mandela out of his $4.1 million inheritance.
The answer may lay in the details of the 1996 divorce proceeding between the former South African President and his former 2nd wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela whom he met in 1957 married one year later. The couple separated before Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa in 1994 and they have two daughters.
John Carlin, in his book Knowing Mandela: A Personal Portrait published in 2013 reported:
As his lawyer would tell me later, he was arbitrarily generous about sharing his estate, giving Winnie what was more than fair. But he made his feelings bluntly known in the divorce hearing. Standing a few feet away from her, he addressed the judge, saying: “Can I put it simply, my lord? If the entire universe tried to persuade me to reconcile with the defendant. I would not… I am determined to get rid of this marriage.”
He did not shirk from describing before the court the disappointment and misery of married life after he returned from prison. Winnie, he explained, did not share his bed once in the two years after their reunion. “I was the loneliest man,” he said.